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Alternative Energy Sources


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#1 gumgum

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 06:32 PM

This company is promising something incredible.
A solar energy at a fraction of traditional costs, taking a fraction of the space to accumulate the same amount of energy.

#2 gumgum

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:14 PM

SUNRGI Develops XCPV System That Produces Solar Power As Cheap As Fossil Fuels

#3 Baro

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:20 PM

Solar and a few other methods have been "almost there" for longer than I've been alive. We keep building coal plants while scoffing at the only real green alternative we have at the moment as solar or fusion or chi energy is always "just around the corner".

I'll believe it when I see it on a larger scale.

#4 gumgum

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 01:18 PM

When a clean energy source becomes just as economically feasible as traditional sources - as this technology promises - we should all perk up our ears and listen. Because the only real motivator for change, unfortunately, is economics.
I am just as skeptical. But I'm hopeful.

Besides, I think a technology that will be commercially available in 12-15 months is beyond the "almost there" stage.

#5 Rorschach

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:07 PM

We have to get off our dead asses and develop new and clean energy sources. In so many ways, the attitudes of today mirror the past.

I can recall when the United States sold the patents for the transistor to the Japanese because they were afraid of destroying the established vacuum tube industry. In London, they scoffed for decades at the new fangled electricity to protect the kerosene industry.

And now considering what is happening in the middle-east, the world is being controlled by thugs and dictators.

If anyone can do it, it is the United States and Canada. We've got to drop the September 10 world and develop the next great energy source.

I personally think nuclear would be a good intermediate step. I also think that Canada's vast natural gas resources can be an incredible source of wealth and clean energy - especially with the latest developments in gas to liquid technology. I can't see the corn ethanol fuel as an alternative because it takes more energy to create it than it produces. And although Hydrogen purports to be clean, people forget that Hydrogen combustion's only byproduct is water vapor - a more virulent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Plus it takes tremendous amounts of energy to create pure Hydrogen - probably more that the Hydrogen produces, not to mention the extreme dangerousness of Hydrogen.

The day may come when total conversion of mass to energy is possible. It may only exist in Star Trek - where events occur before causes. But in the real world, the best engineers must cause these events to occur.

#6 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 04:47 PM

Nuclear, despite all the risks and the problems associated with waste disposal, definitely has to be part of the equation. I went to hear Laurie Zoloth, Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics and Religion at Northwestern University (Chicago), speak about "Acceptable Genetic Modification and GMO Food in the Jewish Tradition(s)" just over a year ago, and I still recall picking up my ears when she said that we've been making a mistake by not applying our risk and safety and engineering research skill to nuclear these past 20 to 30 years. Incidentally, James Lovelock (Gaia theory) concurs that nuclear cannot be left out of energy sustainability approaches.
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#7 Baro

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 06:13 PM

After months of talk on an energy forum, all pretty much agreed that nuclear is pretty much the only hope right now. Even some die hard anti-nuke baby-boomer types switched over when confronted with the evidence. Any problem with nuclear is a billion times worse with the other options, it's just no contest.

Canada has some pretty good nuclear technology, with a bit more investment and some streamlining of the red-tape (imagine the BS and politics that a building in victoria goes through, now multiply that by 10 and have the entire process staffed by pam madoff clones and you're getting close to the picture of what a new plant has to go through) we could easily develop a mass-producible design. A safe cheap easy to run 'off the shelf' design coupled with the de-politicizing of the often extremely uneven and unfair regulations and we actually could be living in a ridiculous 1950's wet dream of near unlimited cheap energy.

#8 gumgum

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 06:30 PM

They should put a giant nuclear power plant in the Antarctic to power the whole world.
Slightly tongue in cheek, but I wonder...

#9 gumgum

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 01:16 PM

Wind Would Power 20% of America for Cost of Four Months in Iraq

#10 Rorschach

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 12:11 PM

A new source of oil:

http://www.timesonli...icle4133668.ece

#11 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 02:28 PM

^ Fascinating, and Thomas Gold for one would hardly be surprised.

Who's Thomas Gold? He's the guy who theorized that oil isn't produced by decaying fossils, but rather is produced by bacteria living deep inside the earth.

See:
  • his obituary (he died almost exactly 4 years ago and this obit has a great recap of his other famous theories, regarding the ear, for example -- theories later proven as facts, although he was wrong on steady state and others);

Caption:
Thomas Gold in 1968, in the laboratory of the Cornell University Center for Radiophysics and Space Research. His 1955 prediction -- that lunar explorers would find a layer of fine rock dust on the moon -- was about to be tested by Apollo 11 astronauts.
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#12 Rorschach

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 08:39 AM

I think this one is even more promising because of the vast, practically unlimited supply of coal in Canada and the United States.

http://www.scienceda...60414014526.htm

#13 gumgum

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 10:32 AM

But how much energy is already expelled mining for the coal? Not to mention the energy that would be required in the conversion process from coal to gas.
Smells to me like an industry propping up the price of its product with little or no benefit to the rest of us.
There something clearly wrong with converted one dirty product to another dirty product anyway.

#14 Rorschach

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 01:48 PM

But how much energy is already expelled mining for the coal? Not to mention the energy that would be required in the conversion process from coal to gas.
Smells to me like an industry propping up the price of its product with little or no benefit to the rest of us.
There something clearly wrong with converted one dirty product to another dirty product anyway.


The coal resource is so vast and it's not so dirty any more. The Nazi's used/invented the technique at the end of WW2. They likewise invented a safe method to create methamphetamine. So as long as we're not going to benefit from their hypothermia experiments, what' s the problem?

#15 gumgum

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 03:48 PM

The problem is that we're on the cusp of creating clean energy that will also be economically viable in the near future, this techology risks the momentum high fuel prices have created. We should all be driving some form of electric vehicle by now and it's industries such as big oil that keep setting us back. I know that's an overly simplisic way of putting it...

#16 Zombie T

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 10:57 AM

Solar revolution?

http://web.mit.edu/n...xygen-0731.html

#17 Nparker

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 11:12 AM

Solar revolution?http://web.mit.edu/n...xygen-0731.html


I expect BIG OIL to come out with a long list of reasons why this process will either not work or be prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, they may just buy up the patent and bury it. They have FAR too much invested in the current system to allow any alternative to make major inroads.

#18 Zombie T

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 09:09 AM

^ ^ ^

Yes, unfortunately I too would not be surprised to see what really amounts to a crime against humanity come from Big Oil...

#19 gumgum

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 09:59 AM

An example of the true cost of pure capitalism: Big oil has got this earth by the balls.

#20 Baro

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 12:47 PM

I worry for little oil, no one cares about them.

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